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Are orchestral libraries ever used professionaly?

Parsifal666

I don't even own a DAW, I'm just a troll.
Maybe I have lost track of time but to say Albion One and M ark 1 are old libraries is preposterous really.
I agree, but I don't remember saying anything like that, my friend. Or maybe the quote threw me off. Am I really that dense this morning? To me anything that came out in the last two or three years is basically new.
 

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
I agree, but I don't remember saying anything like that, my friend. Or maybe the quote threw me off. Am I really that dense this morning? To me anything that came out in the last two or three years is basically new.
You didn't say it. I was just speaking out loud. Edirol Orchestral is an old library. EWQLSO is an old library (and still sounds decent actually). That was me speaking out loud again.

I need to get out more. How have 2 years gone by without my brain realising.
 
I had said that the Symphobias were relatively old tech now (specifically 1 and 2) in reference to the OP's question of why people don't use something like Symphobia for 80% of a track (that was one part of the answer).

To OP - yes, if you don't have a lot of libraries, you should get good use out of Symphobia or Albion One. The more libraries you have the more you'll probably use others as well to carry the load.
 

Niklas

New Member
Ark 1 and Albion One along with Majestica are the latest among the "all in one" orchestral libs, if I haven't slept under a rock all year. Top of the line samples. Comparing them to Symphobia is unfair, a whole different era.

(Though the strings in Symphobia still kicks everyones ass in some situationes imo)
 

JohnG

Senior Member
Age alone doesn't disqualify a library, if it's an orchestral library recorded naturally. However, even the best producers (Nick Phoenix, the Spitfire team etc.) clearly learn as they go, and their more recent libraries have more excellent patches in them than their first efforts.

Moreover, the newer libraries offer far more "stuff you can do." By that I mean that there are maybe 100 things you might do musically with a violin, and the earliest libraries had, maybe 3. Newer libraries have a lot of tiresome complexity in some cases, but in return for that, you get, maybe 10 or 20 musical things you can do with a given instrument.

the strings in Symphobia still kicks everyones ass in some situationes imo)
very true @Niklas ^^^

If there are FX built in -- gated snares? -- maybe that can go out of date. And there are individual orchestral effects, which are really like recorded bits of score, that have been used many times. Used all alone, those effects will be recognizable, but not to a lot of people -- maybe 0.0001% of the audience? Though possibly over-used, they can still be very effective.

I use Hollywood Strings in every production, and I think it's at least six years old. Mind you, I have lots of libraries, but there is good stuff everywhere.

[note: I have received free products from East West]
 
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Mike Fox

Senior Member
I get headaches when I look at all my libraries and then I do some quick math on how much I've spent, and how much more I plan to spend

you're looking at it from the wrong perspective TBH... I'm 100% a hobbyist.

and besides, this is the real reason we buy VST. partly because you can have the convenience of amazing sounding instruments in your underwear. also because we all secretly worship john Williams.


I'm trying to "match" my template to TFA ost, and yes - I'm just fumbling around the keyboard(guessing the changes in tonality)
Cool video! Sounds great! What brass is being used here?
 
OP
thousandfold

thousandfold

Member
I wasn't specifically going about sampled sounds that get old, but the engine and interface can ge told pretty fast, especially if you look at how fast Kontakt is going.

But even Albion isn't that old, it's just a weird feeling that feels like it's been around forever, haha. I guess that's a good sign.
 

jaminjamesp

Member
I wasn't specifically going about sampled sounds that get old, but the engine and interface can ge told pretty fast, especially if you look at how fast Kontakt is going.

But even Albion isn't that old, it's just a weird feeling that feels like it's been around forever, haha. I guess that's a good sign.
I believe I remember reading/watching an interview with Hans Zimmer where he mentioned using string samples to augment orchestras when it wasn't feasible to record sections as large as the sound that was needed.
 

Smikes77

My Avatar looks just like me
I really am trying to find that interview where Danny Elfmann said he kept most samples but replaced them with a real choir, and I`m sure it was Alice. Could be wrong, but I don`t think so.
 

Anders Bru

Active Member
I really am trying to find that interview where Danny Elfmann said he kept most samples but replaced them with a real choir, and I`m sure it was Alice. Could be wrong, but I don`t think so.
I believe you mean this interview with VSL:

At 6:10 he goes through what parts of a mock-up would stay in the final mix, and mentions he would leave the "fake" pizzicatos in order to get a fuller sound out of a string section. He also says that synths and his own percussion stays in the final mix.
 

Smikes77

My Avatar looks just like me
I believe you mean this interview with VSL:

At 6:10 he goes through what parts of a mock-up would stay in the final mix, and mentions he would leave the "fake" pizzicatos in order to get a fuller sound out of a string section. He also says that synths and his own percussion stays in the final mix.
Thank you!
 

Rohann

Professional Forum Browser
The problem is, good orchestration is seldom just layering things all the way through. So, aside from the extremely useful process of using these libraries for sketching (the advantage being having the range of the whole antiphonal section at your hands, instead of just the violins), these libraries can be very useful for specific choices. (they can also be very useful for getting an approximate sound very quickly if you need to send a mockup to someone for a general idea fast - which happens all the time). But, no - I would not generally use these libraries straight through an entire cue/piece if it is reasonably complex - maybe if it is just a bunch of pads. Limiting yourself to doubled sounds all the time is just bad orchestration and it sounds like it. Especially with the winds - I want to choose how my voicings are voiced - I don't want a Kontakt patch choosing that for me. But, if I want to send a mockup to someone and don't need all the specific detail in there, sure - they can be great because they're fast.
Do you mind expanding on this a bit? Doubled sounds in what sense? Just not sure how Kontakt is choosing this.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
@Rohann The idea is these ensemble libraries have samples recorded from multiple instruments playing simultaneously. For example 1 Flute + 1 Clarinet. So you cannot play a flute solo with this patch, because it will always be the combined sound.

Another example is the low strings legato patch in most ensemble libraries, is a blend of cellos, violas and basses. But the viola "drops out" when you go from MIDI C2 to B1, naturally because C2 is its lowest note. So if you play a scale or arpeggio in that range, it sounds like the violas are coming in and out randomly, when a real orchestrator likely wouldn't double the cellos with violas if the part wasn't fully playable for violas.

These libraries sound great as long as you're writing exactly the sort of material that would have been orchestrated in the way that these samples were arranged. But you have to write around the sharp edges... ;)
 

Rohann

Professional Forum Browser
@Rohann The idea is these ensemble libraries have samples recorded from multiple instruments playing simultaneously. For example 1 Flute + 1 Clarinet. So you cannot play a flute solo with this patch, because it will always be the combined sound.

Another example is the low strings legato patch in most ensemble libraries, is a blend of cellos, violas and basses. But the viola "drops out" when you go from MIDI C2 to B1, naturally because C2 is its lowest note. So if you play a scale or arpeggio in that range, it sounds like the violas are coming in and out randomly, when a real orchestrator likely wouldn't double the cellos with violas if the part wasn't fully playable for violas.

These libraries sound great as long as you're writing exactly the sort of material that would have been orchestrated in the way that these samples were arranged. But you have to write around the sharp edges... ;)
Oh right, ok that makes sense. I suppose libraries that offer a good deal more flexibility are handy then. It's probably where buying a good solo flute would come into play and using that instead.

I know that daunting feeling of "everything is so expensive", but it's a process of using what you have til you need something new and then going from there.
 

Johnny

Active Member
I believe I remember reading/watching an interview with Hans Zimmer where he mentioned using string samples to augment orchestras when it wasn't feasible to record sections as large as the sound that was needed.
You are correct! I remember seeing somewhere, a PhD student dissected a Hans Zimmer mockup and found his original bed tracks of orchestral libraries that were used to beef up his (live) instrumental over-dubs. You would never notice the virtual instruments in the final mix but sure as hell they are there!
 
I wasn't specifically going about sampled sounds that get old, but the engine and interface can ge told pretty fast, especially if you look at how fast Kontakt is going.

But even Albion isn't that old, it's just a weird feeling that feels like it's been around forever, haha. I guess that's a good sign.
There was a bit of shift around the time when SSDs came out and legato transitions started becoming part of the equation. Around the same time independent mic controls started to becoming more prevalent. So while things like Symphobia 1 have been revamped to combine the individual mic patches into one patch with control over the mic (and or course processors and SSDs can now handle the heavier work load much better), Symphobia 1 does not have legato patches. Some people hate legato patches, so take if for whatever. But, you can see advances in approach in Symphobia 2 and Symphobia 3 as that technology (on the hardware side and software side) became more accessible.

Same goes for EWQL Symphonic Orchestra. All good sounding stuff, but the approach of Hollywood Strings was clearly superior. That doesn't mean EWQLSO is unusable, it just means there are other things out there that will get you where you want to go easier, faster, or more convincingly - depending on what it is you're doing.

Even Albion 1 (the original) was already onto this new approach (mic controls, legato, etc). But, it is an ensemble library, and the original had some unfortunate range restrictions. Some commonly used higher/lower ranges weren't included for cost savings measures. The reboot has addressed that (as far as I remember). I think Symphobia 2 had a limited amount of dynamic layers in the legatos.

(trying to get this things back onto your original topic of the ensemble libraries specifically!)
 
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OP
thousandfold

thousandfold

Member
There was a bit of shift around the time when SSDs came out and legato transitions started becoming part of the equation. Around the same time independent mic controls started to becoming more prevalent. So while things like Symphobia 1 have been revamped to combine the individual mic patches into one patch with control over the mic (and or course processors and SSDs can now handle the heavier work load much better), Symphobia 1 does not have legato patches. Some people hate legato patches, so take if for whatever. But, you can see advances in approach in Symphobia 2 and Symphobia 3 as that technology (on the hardware side and software side) became more accessible.

Same goes for EWQL Symphonic Orchestra. All good sounding stuff, but the approach of Hollywood Strings was clearly superior. That doesn't mean EWQLSO is unusable, it just means there are other things out there that will get you where you want to go easier, faster, or more convincingly - depending on what it is you're doing.

Even Albion 1 (the original) was already onto this new approach (mic controls, legato, etc). But, it is an ensemble library, and the original had some unfortunate range restrictions. Some commonly used higher/lower ranges weren't included for cost savings measures. The reboot has addressed that (as far as I remember). I think Symphobia 2 had a limited amount of dynamic layers in the legatos.

(trying to get this things back onto your original topic of the ensemble libraries specifically!)
Awesome! Much appreciated! That's some good insight.

I would say that while I now know Sympphobia is used a lot by people who probably don't ever read here. it still doens't feel like something I don't wanna have. For gamed esign work atleast it has all kinds of usefulness and I don't ''need'' something like Hollywood Strings yet.

That said I would say there's a vast difference in usability in the Symphobia's. I woulda argue that Symphobia 3 and maybe 2 are more usable as they are more outside the box orchestral ensembles libraries. It jus tmade me think with the recent release of Ancient ERA Persia and Ethno World 6 that especially Lumina falls more in that kind of category. A useful addon to an orchestral ensemble of your choice.

Afcourse Albions offer something unique too if you don't require your standard orchestral ensemble like Albion 1. The other Albions offer something of great use too even if you can do many things with LASS for example.

While I believe that there's better things to find than getting it all in one. I do wonder if time wise, money wise, and the added frustration of managing, learning, and findng all the things Lumina 3 has to offer on seperate sample libraries, or on an ever grander skill some of Best Service sample collections is worth it.
 
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